Monday, 23 May 2016

Tree walk Sunday 5th June 2016

FRIENDS OF MAYOW PARK

FAMILY TREE WALK
SUNDAY 5 JUNE 10.30-12 NOON
Come and join us to help find out more about the trees in Mayow Park and have fun with your family at the same time.
Activities on the day include:
 1. Meet our special trees: Find out about the ancient oaks, monkey puzzle, dawn redwood, weeping silver birch, holm oak (the climbing tree), plus share stories, myths and legends about the trees.
2. Nature detectives: Identify trees by their leaves.
3. Orchard identification: Find out about the 11 trees planted in 2012.
4. Bark rubbings: Paper & crayons provided.
5. Tree measuring: Using different methods, we’ll  record the height and girth of some of the trees for the park’s record.
Meet us at our table at the Triangle by the café at 10.30 to get your activity sheets and join us on a guided walk.

For more information email: friendsofmayowpark@ymail.com

Saturday, 7 May 2016

our blossoming orchard May 2016

Have you noticed that the grass in our orchard has not yet been cut? There is a good reason. After our incredibly wet winter and early spring the ground in the orchard was extremely soggy until the end of April and some areas are still damp. Attempts to bring in heavy mowing vehicles to mow the grass would have left deep ruts in the mud or they would have got stuck.

On a personal level I am pleased at the delay. The longer grass looks attractive, has encouraged ground-feeding birds to forage and allowed more flowering plants to grow than we would have seen previously. Look carefully and you will see slim plants dotted around with white or pale lilac flowers, that stand taller than the grass. These are Lady's Smock (Cardamine pratensis) also known as cuckoo flower, part of the brassica family (think of cabbages and salad rocket). Although these plants are common throughout the UK, they prefer wet grassland - which summarises the state of the orchard grassland in recent months.


When we originally planted the first orchard trees in February 2012, the site was damp, not saturated. But planting in March 2016, after months of heavy rain, meant most of the site was unusually muddy and not ideal for our young trees.
Now that the ground in the orchard is drying, it is becoming rock hard again and cracks are appearing due to the heavy clay subsoil.
The recently planted fruit trees have started their once-a-week watering regime, tended by volunteers who have 'adopted' them, bringing water from home to water the trees as park water supplies are not easy to access.
Meanwhile the established fruit trees have been flowering in succession, attracting local photographers to capture the splendid blossoms. In future years, when the new trees will also flower, it would be a perfect time to celebrate the beauty of our orchard.

conference pear
Conference pear tree

Apple Red Windsor


Czar plum
Czar plum

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Mayow Park gets spruced up

Over the last few weeks, in anticipation of spring weather, some  grounds maintenance and improvements have taken place in Mayow Park, with positive comments  from park users. The surface under the tennis table was so bad that people stopped playing.
ground under table tennis table
The ground was uneven and very muddy after rain. Glendale was informed and within a few days the surface under the table had been renewed.
fresh new surface under the table
The children's playground has had ongoing problems withe muddy ground under the 'mushrooms' and circus for sometime. This bit of the playground is very well used, the ground gets compacted and  clay subsoil makes the problem worse.
muddy mushrooms before works
muddy mushrooms from another angle
The photos above show how muddy the ground became. The Friends of Mayow Park had a walk around the park with a Glendale manager a few weeks ago and raised concerns from parents about the state of this part of the playground. Glendale discussed with the Friends group what would be the best long-term solution. A possible option was to dig a pit in the area of the mushrooms and circus and fill with bark chips. This has worked successfully under the wooden climbing frame and under the play equipment in the old paddling pool. Glendale agreed to do this work as soon as feasible.
Today, 27th April, the work we had been promised was undertaken and completed.
 A team of Glendale grounds maintenance staff came along with a lorry full of bark chips. They dug  the pit, removed the soil to be used elsewhere and filled the pit to a good depth with barks chips. They also renewed the chips under the play equipment in the former paddling pool area.

fresh, deep mulch among the mushrooms

bark chip mulch should improve drainage
Bark mulch top up under equipment in former paddling pool

Glendale informed the Friends group that the following works would be undertaken in the next few weeks:
     Creation of a small bark pit around the mushrooms in the play area to prevent waterlogging  This was completed on 27th April 2016
     Repairs to areas of chainlink fencing at the back of the trim trail and towards Thriftwood entrance
     Replacement of 2 support posts to shelter on edge of cricket field
     Topping up of play bark to main play area and cable slide.(done) 

Grass cutting has also been a problem due to saturated ground. There was some grass mowing a couple of weeks ago but it had to be abandoned. It  was more successful today but some areas have had to remain unmown as the ground is still too damp. Despite this the park is looking at its best at the moment.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

BIG DIG in Mayow Park 16 April 2016

In total we had twelve adult volunteers and two toddlers taking part in our 2-hour session to tidy the Pavilion Triangle beds. The previous session had been over the Christmas holidays so now we wanted to focus on planting strawberries, first early potatoes as well as weeding, mulching the paths and thinning out some of the herbs  the herb bed.
Here is a photo taken by Lumen showing one of our youngest volunteers working alongside two adults.
Our new A board can be seen in the background by the Park notice board.
And the photo below taken by Carol shows the A board displaying our event poster poster prepared by Jon.


The following photos are taken by Carol and show some of the volunteers at work. Three people joined us who had never volunteered with us before. The park was very busy this morning and a number of people spoke to volunteers about our work.


 
                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                   











What is missing at the moment is a photo showing the huge amount achieved. A brilliant session and many thanks to all those who joined us. It was fun.

Wildlife at our workday 16th April 2016

Friends of Mayow Park organised a gardening session at the Pavilion Triangle beds, not knowing who or what might join us. Two of us had just arrived and were standing by the holly tree when down flew a gold crest. The bird then hovered at the tree ( a bit like a humming bird) and few back into the conifers by our compost bins. Jon had seen the bird and its markings very clearly but was not quick enough to get a photo.
<https://www.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynature/discoverandlearn/birdguide/name/g/goldcrest/>


Over the next two hours people made other discoveries: a centipede and a frog in particular. The following photos are from Carol Robinson (CR) and Lumen Silveira (LS)
(CR) what have we found?

















                                                                       
(CR) looks like a frog
(LS) Frog taken to a place of safety


















After the gold crest and the frog, would we something else? We found a centipede scuttling out the way  of people busy with weeding and planting. 








(AS) Grow Wild wild flower seed pack
(CR) sowing wild flower seeds in our mini meadow
                                                                   
(AS) wild flower mini meadow
More photos and a summary of our Big Dig will be in  the next blog. 

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Turning a fallen tree into seating


If you stroll through Mayow Park, along the northern path near the older children's play area, you will find two logs that were originally park trees. One has been in place as seating for some months, but now there is a new one. A tree which fell due to Storm Katie has now become an additional seating space or a play space for little children.
The tree, not long after it fell. Older children's play area in background
And the photo below clearly shows what a sorry state it was in:
The limbs were shattered by the impact as the tree fell to the ground
But careful surgery has turned the broken tree into this log:


A new seating log - a positive outcome after storm damage
Glendale teams manage the park on behalf of Lewisham. They acted swiftly when they were made aware of the fallen tree. There is another log nearby, just visible in the top left hand of this photo.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

SPORTS AND FITNESS SURVEY

I had a communication from Glendale about the sports and fitness questionnaire which has been going since early February. The survey is finishing this coming Sunday 16th April 2016. Anyone who intended to fill in a questionnaire and has not done so, there are a few days to go so don't delay. 
What happens next? 

  • The results will be analysed by Glendale (and FOMP are hoping to see the results)
  • Then the results will go to Lewisham Greenscene to inform funders of the outdoor gym about how it is being used
  • The results will be able to inform Greencene about sports provision needs in the park.
  • Copies of the questionnaire are in the Cafe in Mayow Park. If you can't find them do ask. Put completed questionnaires in the box labelled 'sports and fitness survey'.